Sterling calls for more minority coaches, executives at top level

You are currently viewing Sterling calls for more minority coaches, executives at top level
Raheem Sterling of Manchester City
  • Post published:June 9, 2020

Raheem Sterling says believes it is vital for more minority coaches to be given the chance at the highest level as both managers and executives as discussions surrounding race in society continue.

Protests remain ongoing in the aftermath of the killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May.

Those protests, which began in America, have moved worldwide in recent days with thousands turning out for anti-racism marches.

Sterling has long been outspoken regarding the intersection between race and football, with the Manchester City star calling racism ‘a disease’ that is the most important problem society faces in modern times.

The England winger pointed to four former England stars: Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole. Gerrard and Lampard are currently managers at historic clubs Rangers and Chelsea, respectively.

Meanwhile, Campbell has managed only at the lower-league level with both Macclesfield and Southend while Cole is currently in charge of Chelsea’s U15s.

Pointing to that fact, Sterling says that black, Asian and minority ethnic coaches, executives and other staff members are not given the same chances as their white counterparts, leading to a disconnect between those in charge and those seeking to implement change.

‘The coaching staff that you see around football clubs: there’s Steven Gerrard, your Frank Lampards, your Sol Campbells and your Ashley Coles. All had great careers, all played for England,’ Sterling told the BBC.

‘At the same time, they’ve all respectfully done their coaching badges to coach at the highest level and the two that haven’t been given the right opportunities are the two black former players.

‘The change is being able to speak to people in Parliament, people at the hierarchy at my football club, football clubs across the country, people at the national team of England, to implement change and give equal chances to not just black coaches but also different ethnicities.

‘Give black coaches, not just coaches, but people in their respective fields, the right opportunity. I feel like that’s what’s lacking here, it’s not just taking the knee, it is about giving people the chance they deserve.

‘There’s something like 500 players in the Premier League and a third of them are black and we have no representation of us in the hierarchy, no representation of us in the coaching staffs. There’s not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with.’

He added: ‘When there’s someone from a black background I can go to in the FA with a problem I have within the club, that will be when I know change is happening and not just in my field, also in Parliament.

‘Once we do see those numbers shifting, that’s when I’ll be happy and the people will be happy.’

In 2018, the FA found that five percent of the federation’s leadership roles and 13% of England coaching staff roles were filled by people from a minority background.

Additionally, the FA set targets of 11 and 20%, respectively, for 2021 as the federation looked to increase diversity across the organisation.

Sterling, meanwhile, says it’s important for these conversations to continue going forward, even after the worldwide protests die down.

‘The protest is a great starting point, to make your voice be heard,’ he said. ‘But just protesting alone is not going to make a change in this country.’

He added: ‘It’s how we move on from here. It’s about highlighting things, the society that needs changing, and then acting upon it. We’ve done a lot of talking, and it’s time now to act.’